How to Use the Library

Confused about how to get the most out of the library? This guide will walk you step-by-step through the use of the library's print materials, website, catalog, and research databases!

The Library’s Homepage

You may recognize this as the homepage for Library Services at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. From this website, you can gain access to a vareity of research tools.

Right now, we’re going to introduce the most important parts of the website so you can find the resources you need.


Read this page, and then TAKE THE QUIZ to test your knowledge. Keep in mind, the quiz will ask you to find things on the website, and not just answer questions!

Using the Navigation Menu Bar

Navigation bar from library's main page

Although there are many different links on the library’s homepage (you can take time to explore them on your own), the most important feature is the black navigation menu bar that you see here. You might notice that this same menu bar is reproduced at the top of this guide! So you can feel free to explore its options now if you wish. Just remember that clicking any links on the bar will take you to another page, so you might have to use your browser’s back button to return here.

The most important links on the menu bar are the ones highlighted in the image above:

In the following, we’ll go through each of these in turn.

Books, Articles & More

Clicking on the link labeled Books, Articles & More will take you to the catalog of the library's resources. This is where you will want to go to find books, but the catalog can also locate eBooks and electronic articles from online journals, as well as other resources. Most of the resources accessible on our system can be found through the catalog.

Search bar on Worldcat Catalog

The first thing you will see in the catalog is a search bar such as the one shown above. You may notice a similar search bar in the header of this guide: that is also attached to the catalog, and it will give you the ability to search the catalog from almost anywhere on the library's website.

Databases

If you hear the word databases when you hear about libraries, you may wonder what that means. The databases are online systems, purchased from various companies, that contain eBooks, journals, magazines, videos, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other information resources.

Screenshot of databases webpage

We'll discuss the databases in more detail at a later point in this guide. For now, just know that the databases are the place to go when you need scholarly, peer-reviewed articles and similar sources.

My Account

No doubt you already have an account on RangerNet. However, your accounts with the library are different from your other university accounts. This is because we are partnered with other organizations that maintain accounts in their own way.

The My Account Page has step-by-step instructions for setting up a personal account with three different organizations:

  • WorldCat: Run by an organization called OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), WorldCat is the system on which our library catalog operates. By setting up a WorldCat account, you will be able to view your holds and the due dates of materials you've checked out. You can also create lists to assist you with your research projects.
  • EBSCOhost: EBSCO (Elton B. Stephens Company) owns about two thirds of our databases. By creating an account with EBSCO, you'll be able to save articles or other sources for your research projects, and then easily retrieve them elsewhere. You could, for example, save articles while at school and then print them out at home, or vice versa.
  • JSTOR: JSTOR (Journal Storage) is an organization hosting the full text of thousands of journals. The NWOSU Libraries subscribes to JSTOR's Life Sciences Collection. By creating a personal account with JSTOR, you will be able to save articles much as you can with EBSCO, and you will also have access to six free articles a month outside the Life Sciences Collection.
Screenshot of My Account page

If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to visit the My Account page and set up your WorldCat account.

Research Guides

What is a research guide? You're looking at one! Research guides are web resources full of links to important information, advice about where to find articles or books in the catalog, and instructions on how to properly cite sources. They are created to accompany specific courses or augment specific subjects. Whenever you are enrolled in a class, it is a good idea to check the Research Guides List to see if there is an associated guide. You will likely find helpful resources to make your classwork go more smoothly.

Some research guides you might explore include:

Screenshot of research guide list